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Contemplating the Effects of OxyContin SuicideMarianne Skolek Salem-News.com
"Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest." Benjamin Franklin
(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - This week I met with a dad whose young, adult son was prescribed OxyContin for a foot injury as a result of a car accident. I will call the son "David". David was every parent's dream -- handsome, smart, successful and his dad's best friend.
As happens too frequently in the saga and destruction of human life while taking OxyContin, David became addicted to the drug. I sat across from this dad who dearly loved his son and went through his life savings to get help for David. It was to no avail. Below is the suicide letter that David wrote his mom and dad. It is heartrending. Unfortunately, David is not the only victim of OxyContin who wrote a letter similar to this note, shown below.
I am calling David's letter -- "Every parent's nightmare" and addressing it to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for their total lack of attention to the prescription drug epidemic -- in particular OxyContin. Over the years, the FDA sent approximately 11 letters to the maker of OxyContin - Purdue Pharma - chastising them for their marketing tactics in pushing the drug for any type pain as well as referring to it as less likely to be addictive or abused. Did it do any good? Keep reading and you determine how inattentive the FDA is to this national crisis.
In May 2007, Purdue Pharma and CEO, Michael Friedman, Head General Counsel, Howard Udell and Chief Medical Officer, Paul Goldenheim, MD each pleaded guilty to misleading physicians and patients by claiming OxyContin was less likely to be addictive or abused than other narcotics. Purdue Pharma had obtained FDA approval to push legal heroin and advertised it to the country as safer than other painkillers.
These offenses occurred between 1995, when the FDA approved OxyContin to be placed on the market, and 2001, when Purdue faced regular, public criticism and cut the “reduced-risk” marketing. During those years, OxyContin made Purdue Pharma $2.8 billion in profits. As Purdue championed the safety of its drug and watched the money pile up, the DEA said the number of deaths related to OxyContin rose 400 percent, and the annual number of OxyContin prescriptions increased nearly 20-fold.
“The damage to the public from these white-collared drug pushers surely exceeds the collective damage done by traditional street drug pushers,” said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, the director of the health research group at Public Citizen, at the time of the trial.
The ever diligent FDA realizes we are in a homeland security crisis and they institute a study a couple of years ago called REMS. Below is right off the FDA website:
Update on Implementation of Opioids REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy)
So a pharmaceutical company -- Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin -- responsible for the death and addiction of tens of thousands of people in the U.S. and Canada is asked by the watchdog agency (FDA) for the American people to submit a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy. This is the best the FDA can come up with as prescription drugs ravage our country?
It has nothing to do with prescribing and safety use - it has to do with a dangerous drug -- a synthetic heroin -- being mass manufactured to find its way onto the streets -- and it being prescribed for moderate pain when FDA approval in 1995 was the drug to be used for cancer patients in severe pain.
Isn't it time the FDA admit they have allowed OxyContin to destroy lives because of their alliance with the pharmaceutical company? If the maker of OxyContin lied about the dangers of the drug and the end result is a tsunami of addiction of death in every state in the country, why would the FDA even consider letting Purdue Pharma submit a REMS.
Next week I will be writing an article about the "Stop Oxy Abuse Act" introduced last year by Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, of California and a video of Kentucky's Congressman Hal Rogers frustration at a Hearing on OxyContin while he listened to Dr. Margaret Hamburg, head of the FDA show her allegiance to the drug maker.
I ask every family member affected by the lethal qualities of OxyContin in death and addiction to email pictures of the victims of this legalized heroin to the below heads of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). If an increase in the number of deaths related to OxyContin rising 400 percent does not give cause for the FDA to act responsibility by reclassifying it for severe pain only -- or taking it off the market completely -- maybe seeing the victims of this homeland security holocaust will wake them up. I know I have lost my patience with the FDA, have you?
LP -- There is no sound of silence even with a pit fire burning -- it is called peace -- sheer and loving peace, along with faith, strong belief in our journeys, encouragement and our love. You are the best -- I will keep working at taking the title.
_________________________________Salem-News.com Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma throughout the United States and Canada. In July 2007, she testified against Purdue Pharma in Federal Court in Virginia at the sentencing of their three CEO's - Michael Friedman, Howard Udell and Paul Goldenheim - who pleaded guilty to charges of marketing OxyContin as less likely to be addictive or abused to physicians and patients. She also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007. Marianne works with government agencies and private attorneys in having a voice for her daughter Jill, who died in 2002 after being prescribed OxyContin, as well as the voice for scores of victims of OxyContin. She has been involved in her work for the past 8-1/2 years and is currently working on a book that exposes Purdue Pharma for their continued criminal marketing of OxyContin.
Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class. She also has a Paralegal certification. Marianne served on a Community Service Board for the Courier News, a Gannet newspaper in NJ writing articles predominantly regarding AIDS patients and their emotional issues. She was awarded a Community Service Award in 1993 by the Hunterdon County, NJ HIV/AIDS Task Force in recognition of and appreciation for the donated time, energy and love in facilitating a Support Group for persons with HIV/AIDS.
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